In 40-minute phone call, Trump invites PM Modi to G7 meet, discusses China standoff

A day after Donald Trump declared that he wanted to expand the G7 to include other important countries, the US president on Tuesday spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to invite him to the grouping’s next meeting to be held in the United States of America.

As the 40-minute conversation went on, President Trump and PM Modi also discussed other issues such as the India-China border standoff and the reforms of the World Health Organisation, a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The two leaders are learnt to have shared their perceptions about the standoff that was triggered last month after China’s People’s Liberation Army activated the Line of Actual Control at Naku La area in north Sikkim and then at three points in Galwan and one point at Pangong Tso in Ladakh sector.

The convergence in the views of the two leaders was also reflected in their view on the reforms at the World Health Organisation. Both leaders have been votaries of reforms in the WHO but have chosen to take a vastly different approach. US President Donald Trump has threatened to exit the global health body to push the WHO to carry out the reforms. PM Modi, in contrast, has decided to push hard on reforms while staying as part of the WHO.

PM Modi also expressed concern regarding the ongoing civil disturbances in the US, conveyed his best wishes for an early resolution of the situation, a PMO statement said.

“The phone conversation underscores that even in such an unsettled world and the changing dynamics in the post-Covid-19 pandemic, the relationship between India and the United States remains strong,” a top government functionary told HT.

The richness and depth of India-US consultations will remain an important pillar of the post-COVID global architecture.

“The Indo-US relationship is at a historic high,” a second official said. He explained.

“When was the last time that a prime minister of India spoke about civil disturbances in the US and expressed confidence that the US President would be able to handle it. Or when did the US President call the Indian Prime Minister during a serious border standoff. All this shows that both the leaders have taken the relationship to a very different level,” he said.

Donald Trump had first given an indication of his intent to invite India to the G-7 on Saturday when he described the grouping of the seven countries – some of them among the most advanced economies of the world – as “outdated” and advocated rechristening it as “G-10 or G-11” to include India, Australia, South Korea and Russia.

“We want Australia, we want India, we want South Korea. And what do we have? That’s a nice group of countries right there,” he had said, hinting that the heads of these nations could be invited for the next summit to be hosted by the US on a reschedule date in September or November.

Prime Minister Modi commended President Trump for his creative and far-sighted approach, acknowledging that such an expanded forum would be in keeping with the emerging realities of the post-Covid world. PM Modi said that India would be happy to work with the US and other countries to ensure the success of the proposed Summit.

The G-7 currently includes the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. India is a member of the larger version of the body that is called the G-20. However, according to an aide of the US President quoted by HT earlier, Trump’s plan seems to bring together important allies on a platform to deal with China, a country with which the United States’ relations have gone from bad to worse under the Trump administration.

Source : Hindustan Times

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